My vindictive puppy..

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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ebbtide
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My vindictive puppy..

Postby ebbtide » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:18 am

So vinnie is 2 years old now.

When myself or my room mate are home, he's great. Doesn't chew anything up and never goes to the bathroom in the house. However, if we leave him alone - even for as little as 30 minutes - we always come back to a fresh brown gift in the living room floor.

Obviously, I can't catch him in the act. I've tried caging him when we leave, and that works - but I feel bad putting an 85lb dog into a kennel for anything more than a few hours. Besides, he only takes it for so long.. He knows how to hold it when he's caged, and like I said, time left alone doesn't seem to matter. Leaving the TV on has helped, but has not proven completely effective.

Any suggestions as to what we can do / try?

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Amie
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Amie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:34 pm

It's not vindictiveness, it's that he's learned that he isn't allowed to do that in front of you, but hasn't learned he isn't allowed to do it without witnesses.*

How often does he go out, for how long is he out there, and how long before you're going to leave the house? What is your reaction when he goes outside? What is your reaction when you find the mess inside?



*if this is a change in behavior, get him to a vet and be sure he isn't sick at all. If this has been ongoing his whole life and you're sure it's not health, then look at training solutions.

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Scarsmommy
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Scarsmommy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:42 pm

And here I thought I was alone in this. My Molly has been known to poop in her crate when she is mad at us. If she feels like she doesnt get enough attention she will poop.. regardless of how much she is walked. We are working on it though ..and she has gotten better with it.. but she still has her moments.

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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Stormi » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm

Scarsmommy wrote:And here I thought I was alone in this. My Molly has been known to poop in her crate when she is mad at us. If she feels like she doesnt get enough attention she will poop.. regardless of how much she is walked. We are working on it though ..and she has gotten better with it.. but she still has her moments.



Its got nothing to do with her being "mad at" you. Really, what purpose would sitting in your own filth serve if you were trying to get back at someone? Not much. Dogs don't possess the ability to be vindictive. We as humans have the ability to porject it on to them, though :)

How large is her crate? How was she potty trained? Was she a shelter/puppy mill/puppy store dog? How old is she?

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Scarsmommy
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Scarsmommy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:26 pm

Stormi wrote:
Scarsmommy wrote:And here I thought I was alone in this. My Molly has been known to poop in her crate when she is mad at us. If she feels like she doesnt get enough attention she will poop.. regardless of how much she is walked. We are working on it though ..and she has gotten better with it.. but she still has her moments.



Its got nothing to do with her being "mad at" you. Really, what purpose would sitting in your own filth serve if you were trying to get back at someone? Not much. Dogs don't possess the ability to be vindictive. We as humans have the ability to porject it on to them, though :)

How large is her crate? How was she potty trained? Was she a shelter/puppy mill/puppy store dog? How old is she?


Her normal crate is big enough for her to relax and stretch in.. but when she starts the pooping game we put her back in our smaller crate.. after a week in there and lots more attention she stops. She just wants to be the center of attention> Most days she is.. but sometimes we will have a busy day or weekend and thats when she usually acts up. I can honestly tell you we don't know where Molly originally came from.. all I know is that she came to the rescue i foster for from another rescue. She is crate trained.. but there is no other way to explain her accidents. She gets walked 3 to 4 times a day.. and sometimes even after she has pooped 2 x's outside she will come inside and poop in her crate. From what we are guesstimating she is around 1 to 2 years old.

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MJay
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby MJay » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:49 pm

Try more exercise. Dogs dont need attention like we think they do. They need structure more than anything. You should monitor her food intake and her bowel movements. Make sure she has a poo after everytime she eats and she wont have anything left to leave on your floor. Remember, dogs dont have human emotions, its just something we project onto them.

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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Scarsmommy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:57 pm

I honestly get what you are all saying .. but Molly has structure and she gets exercise as well as plenty of walks. I honestly believe that dogs are a lot smarter than we would like to believe. Either way she is getting better .. so I am not complaining... just simply stating that I feel the same way the OP does to a certain extent.

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Leslie H
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Leslie H » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:50 pm

No one is saying dogs aren't smart. They're just saying that dogs don't do things out of spite or revenge.
Patricia McConnell's book, For the Love of a Dog, does a great job of explaining the similarities and differences between human and canine emotions.

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Amie
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Amie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:54 pm

;) for the record, I don't think revenge and vindictiveness are related to intelligence at all -- I kinda think the opposite is true! lol

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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Scarsmommy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:04 pm

Sorry for putting my 2 cents in. I do what I can. Am I a professional by all means no. But I will take your advice Leslie and look into that book. Sorry for not being perfect.

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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Amie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:14 pm

Scarsmommy wrote:Sorry for putting my 2 cents in. I do what I can. Am I a professional by all means no. But I will take your advice Leslie and look into that book. Sorry for not being perfect.


Apology accepted, this time.

lol No one here is claiming to be perfect. It just doesn't help the training issues at hand to put emotions on behavior that aren't there. We definitely do think dogs are smart, but they also definitely have different emotional levels than humans do. If you try to correct a behavior because you think the dog is being vindictive when it's not, the improvements likely won't happen - it's like a man giving his wife an iron for her birthday. Even if you mean well, it sure as heck isn't going to help things, and it may backfire and make things worse.

We all know what it feels like to see behavior and think "the only reason they could possibly do this is they're pissed off at me" (hell, I've got cats, I spend most of my life feeling like that) but the truth is they just don't do that, so it's best to find the real reason for the behavior and work to fix that!

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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Stormi » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:17 pm

Scarsmommy wrote:I honestly get what you are all saying .. but Molly has structure and she gets exercise as well as plenty of walks. I honestly believe that dogs are a lot smarter than we would like to believe. Either way she is getting better .. so I am not complaining... just simply stating that I feel the same way the OP does to a certain extent.



No, you are absolutely right. Dogs posess much higher cognitive abilities than most humans give them credit for. I doubt one person on this forum can say their dog doesn't have them trained in one way or another! They have extremely complex emotions that, although are not exactly like humans, are pretty dern close. I asked about her history becuase, generally speaking dogs don't like to soil their sleeping area, but dogs that are raised in puppy mill/puppy shop/crowded shelter enviroments can sometimes be forced to do so, and wind up being a bit more of a house training challenge as a result. There are many different reasons she could be having trouble, and size of her crate could be part of it like you noticed. I would do your best to give her a steady routine of times she eats and eliminates thru-out the day, as well as the exercise that has been mentioned. Ugly weather can also play into reversing house training temporarily. If her stool looks abnormal at all, it may be worth a vet check to make sure this isn't medically related.

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Leslie H
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Leslie H » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:30 pm

scarsmommy, I apologize for coming off snotty. No perfection here, believe me. I make plenty of mistakes.

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ebbtide
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby ebbtide » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:04 am

Amie wrote:It's not vindictiveness, it's that he's learned that he isn't allowed to do that in front of you, but hasn't learned he isn't allowed to do it without witnesses.*

How often does he go out, for how long is he out there, and how long before you're going to leave the house? What is your reaction when he goes outside? What is your reaction when you find the mess inside?



*if this is a change in behavior, get him to a vet and be sure he isn't sick at all. If this has been ongoing his whole life and you're sure it's not health, then look at training solutions.


This is not a change in behavior. It's been like this for a while now. However I have noticed an increase in the frequency that i'll make a quick trip to the store (like 20 min) and come back and find a gift - no matter what his potty time prior was. Also, on occasions like this, he may leave only one turd. Mind you, this is an 85lb dog and his drops typically rival some humans.

Assuming you're correct about his learned behavior (that it's ok when i'm not around) what are some recommended methods for correction to this? He goes out whenever he requests it or when i'm about to leave. Length of time depends on him - typically he will run down the steps, urinate, and run back up waiting for me to open the door. He typically lets out a single bark to notify me he's done (he does not beg to come in unless it's raining or snowing out). If I leave him out longer, he simply stands on the porch waiting on me.

He always gets a 'good boy' for going outside. When he was younger he got treats. When I find a mess, i've ranged in reaction from a simple 'bad puppy' to showing him and putting him outside to scolding. All have been in vain as I realize that unless I catch him, it's hard to correct. My work schedule (which is always uncertain) makes it difficult to schedule regular feedings. As such, food/water are always accessible to him. All suggestions are welcome!

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Amie
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Re: My vindictive puppy..

Postby Amie » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:21 am

Do you know if he's doing anything else while you're gone? Is he destructive? Does he have a hard time when you leave? Does he eat when you're gone? Do you leave him productive things to do?


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